Monday, October 6, 2008

A Little Taste Of History (43)

Topic: Happenings During the 1800s #3

The National Academy of Design, a society of American painters and sculptors, whose headquarters is in New York City. The first Academy of Arts in New York City was founded in 1802 by prominent citizens, Prof. S.F.B. Morse (q.v.) was the chief organizer of the movement, and was twice president of the National Academy, in 1827-45 and again in 1861-62. In this capacity he delivered the first lecture on the fine arts ever given in America.

On the twentieth of November, 1804, eleven gentlemen met in the "picture room" of the City Hall and formed the New York Historical Society, electing De Witt Clinton as its first president. Since that time it has grown apace, and has done inestimable service in collecting and preserving all kinds of material connected with the nation, the state, and the city.

St. Stephen's Church: This church was formed March 12, 1805, and in the same year their present house of worship was built, on the corner of Broome and Chrystie streets. The history of this church has not been marked by any great revolution, or striking incidents, but it has risen gradually, from about 60 communicants when organized, to 350 at the present time. This church has had seven pastors, viz., Rev. George Strebeck, elected March, 1805, resigned May, 1809: Rev. Richard C. Moore, elected May 31, 1809, elected Bishop of Virginia, May, 1814: Rev. James Henry Feltus, elected June 10, 1814, died August 24, 1828: Rev. Henry Anthon, elected January, 1829, resigned January 17, 1831: Rev. Francis L. Hawks, elected January 29, 1831, resigned December, 1831: Rev. William Jackson, elected May 9, 1832, resigned March 25, 1837: Rev. Joseph H. Price, elected May, 1837, and is the present minister.

A few Episcopal families were scattered in the northern parts of Manhattan Island, at Bloomingdale, Manhattanville, and around Fort Washington, and these, very naturally, sought for religious privileges according to their own forms. Accordingly, in the year 1807, a church was formed at Bloomingdale called "St. Michael's Church," and during that year a small frame building was erected for a house of worship.

The colored Episcopalians of this city commenced a meeting by themselves in the year 1809. They assembled for worship in a schoolroom, which stood next to the old church, on the corner of Frankfort and William streets, and Mr. McCoombs, a white man, officiated as a lay-reader until his death, in 1812.

Castle Garden was originally Castle Clinton, a fort built in 1811 on an artificial island off lower Manhattan. It was converted into a theater in 1833 and was later connected by landfill to the Battery. It served as an immigration center between 1855 and 1890, ceding that function to Ellis Island in the 1890s.


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